ULEAD Imparts Leadership Development Skills Through Team Building
Writer / Matt Keating
Aubrey Eastway, brand ambassador for ULEAD in Goshen, says ULEAD has been a great opportunity for people to develop leadership skills that will help them for many years to come.
“ULEAD is a nonprofit organization whose mission is founded in the life and teachings of Jesus, to provide dynamic and inclusive leadership development,” Eastway says. “We believe in play, laughter and celebration, so our trainings are highly interactive, fun, motivational, and designed to transform mindsets, develop skills and inspire servant leadership.”
Through experiential learning, ULEAD invites individuals to grow their skills and inspire others.
“At ULEAD we believe the world’s greatest change agents are people of character who empower others,” Eastway says. “We want to help youth and caring adults change their world. The emphasis is placed on ‘their’ world, as we believe that allowing people to step into their own powers creates change in their own communities, lives and peer groups. It is both an impactful and significant way to creating long-lasting and worldwide change.”
Presently, ULEAD’s programming is intentionally designed to capture the attention of youth.
“Our programs are meant to allow youth to create their own conclusions about who they are, where they lead and where they’re going,” Eastway says. “We currently serve our local school systems through leadership ambassador and student-athlete programs. Both of these programs were uniquely created to address the mindsets and skills needed to be persons of positive influence in their schools, communities and playing fields.”
Eastway says program topics include character, competency and community.
“Our students complete each program feeling empowered, with applicable skills and a fun story or two,” she says.
Eastway says the ULEAD team has seen students overcome fears, increase knowledge on who they are, enhance communication skills, collaborate further and converse deeper.
It has also helped youth workers and educators.
“When you consider that a single youth worker or educator has the potential to impact the lives of hundreds of students, you realize that investing into their development and well-being is essential for change,” Eastway says. “Therefore, ULEAD has a wide variety of experiences curated specifically for adults. From teachers to youth workers to youth pastors, ULEAD has created a program designed to propel participants into conversation, connection, play and collaboration.”
Transitioning out of the pandemic, Eastway and her co-workers have found that youth workers and educators are experiencing burnout and compassion fatigue.
“Therefore, ULEAD has adapted and created several programs to meet these agents of change where they’re at both, professionally and personally,” Eastway says. “Professionally, ULEAD offers programs constructed to give youth workers and educators new activities and methods of engaging their students. We also have programs created to invite them into a deeper understanding of their superpowers, and their teams’ superpowers. Personally, several of our programs aim to remind youth workers of their ‘why,’ help them develop new skills and habits of mindfulness, and re-invite them into connection and collaboration with their peers.”
“This is better than therapy. I was in awe of how this exercise gave me so much insight about myself and how I manage others,” adds Sarita Stevens, assistant superintendent for Elkhart Community Schools.
ULEAD also supports leadership development.
“All of ULEAD’s programs are designed to be experiential and incite co-creation from participants,” Eastway says. “This means that while ULEAD arrives with a plan for the day, oftentimes it is up to the participants to lead and guide discussions in their own direction. There is no one-size-fits-all answer for every team, student group or individual. Therefore, ULEAD prompts all of our participants to own their program and catalyze it for their own unique needs.”
While many of the programs involve servant leadership principles, they also promote servant leadership practices.
“This will look different from program to program, but leadership qualities might show up in someone willing to be the first person to appear silly, be vulnerable in conversation, take charge to get their team through an initiative, or take a step back to allow others to offer ideas or opinions,” Eastway says. “While participants are engaged in topics of servant leadership, they’re also given the opportunity to embody them.”
ULEAD is located at 212 South Main Street, Suite 2 in Goshen. For more info, call 574-696-1085 or visit uleadinc.org.